Meet Bernard

A native New Brunswicker, born in St-Quentin and living in several regions throughout the province, Bernard Quintal received a medical degree from the University of Ottawa. For the last 40 years, he and his wife Lucie, a fibre artist, have lived beside the beautiful Bay of Chaleur in the Dalhousie region of the North Shore.

Bernard maintained a successful medical practice in this region and served his community throughout his long career until his retirement in 2015. Having discovered watercolours a few decades prior, his retirement afforded him the opportunity to return to painting full-time. He is mainly a self-taught artist who has been refining his skill set through workshops and private mentorship since 2015.

The natural beaches of the Maritimes have been a passionate obsession of Quintal since his early childhood. As a young explorer, he marvelled at the complexity of the rocky shores and the flora and fauna found in these delicate seaside, marine ecosystems. He works to portray the uniqueness of the weathered beach rocks and with precise observation and attention to the smallest of details he draws the viewer into a voyage through millenniums of marks engraved by nature’s forces on each rock’s surface. Traces of lichens and other specialized plant forms pattern the surfaces of the colourful minerals that form each rounded stone. There is a complex and beautiful universe to discover as he reveals to us through his imaginary magnifying glass.

Quintal’s maritime beach rockscapes have been presented in symposiums, group and solo exhibitions across the province of New Brunswick, most notably at the Andrew and Laura McCain Gallery in Florenceville, Sunbury Shores Art Centre in St. Andrews and Gallery 78 in Fredericton. He is a recent graduate of the Arts Link Catapult program, is a grant recipient from ArtsNB and is a member of the professional arts organizations, CARFAC and the AAAPNB.

Bernard Quintal’s watercolours are a conscious attempt to preserve the pristine shores of his childhood and an offering to the viewer to experience the joy of discovery.

Bernard's CV

Artist Statement

I have been collecting rocks for as long as I can remember. As a child, I combed the Maritime beaches immersed in the joy of discovery. These moments of connection continue and are some of the happiest and most fulfilling times of my life.

Being along the seashore I have formed a kinship with the ocean environment. The crashing waves, changing skies and the cries of the shore birds all inhabit my physical psyche. With the feel of the ocean breeze on my face and the smell of the salt air in my lungs, my being connects to this rich and complex ecosystem.

As I walk along the shoreline, I am captivated by the rounded rocks that have been weathered over millennia by the forces of the ocean waters. My keen sense of observation was honed and now serves my work as a painter. The variety of shapes, colours and types of rocks along the Maritime beaches are a rich source of inspiration. I document this through photographs and specimen collection for my work in the studio.

Back in the studio, using watercolour and acrylic, I paint the rich surface colours, textures and patterns with exacting attention to detail as if examining the beach rock specimens under a personal magnifying glass. This is my way to express the impact and my connection to place, to the seashore ecosystems. As my brushes capture minute details and I wash in thin layers of colour shifts to deepen shadows and push the passages of sunlight, I am recording my singular
experience to share with the viewer.

Inspired by nature, I understand the state of flux occurring on our Maritime beaches. There is a constant remodelling with the strong, daily tides. The play of shadow and light across the beach rockscapes and the flora and fauna surrounding the rocks provide endless inspiration for my painting compositions. I experience and record time through the Maritime beach rockscapes I capture.